19 October 2011

12,000 Riders and 1+ Million Miles in 30 Days: 2011 Commuter Challenge sets new record

With a 68.3% commuter rate, 85 trips to and fro work and 1522.4 miles logged amongst its 7 employees, BicyclingHub.com was delighted to learn we ranked 14th out of 323 businesses in our category in the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's annual Bike Commuter Challenge.

Hosted every September since 1995, workers in Oregon and SW Washington have competed to see who can bike to work more in 30 days. Individuals register on their workplace’s team, log their bike commutes online, and at the end of the month the BTA does the math and honors the winning companies.

Kevin "squishing" Mt. Hood while showing off the cycling love
"[Commuting by] bike is still the best way to travel…Beats sitting in the car, no matter how far or short you've got to travel," BicyclingHub staff member and "professional commuter" Kevin Langton states. "Beats taking the bus, too--and I always get a seat."

Langton can opt to take short route--which is 20 minutes and 4 miles--or, on days it's nice out and/or cares to stretch his legs, he extends his commute to take the scenic way home. That extra hour or two "gives you a little more exercise, or turns it into a training ride for a couple of hours...Fighting into the wind, hills or flat: it's all there for you, any time you want it."

According to the BTA, in 2011, 1452 workplaces and 12,063 riders participated in the Challenge, logging a total 1,372,619 miles biked. More than 2,000 participants identified themselves as new bike commuters, making 2011 a banner year for the program. With new online features to track the miles, form Leagues and issue challenges to would-be competitors, as well as weekly prize drawings and discounts at participating shops, the Commuter Challenge does a great job inspiring and motivating people to go by bike.

Mail delivery by bike: BicyclingHub staff member Adrian Richardson
tests just how much mail hisBlack Star cargo bag can really hold
Zak Kovalcik, a track racer in BicyclingHub's shipping department, lives car-free and commutes year-round. "I've only ever been a bike commuter, so I don't have much to compare it against…but it definitely beats taking the bus," he remarks. "Plus, it's a good way to wake up. When you get to work, you're already energized and ready to go, instead of still being asleep."

As a competitive cyclist, he feels making daily short trips by bike help with training--especially on "days where I'm tired from training and I don't actually want to ride…It helps get me on my bike and spin my legs."

A majority of BicyclingHub.com staff commute by bike year-round, ensuring the products we sell get rigorous testing (especially our Showers Pass rain gear) and impartial reviews. A League-recognized Bicycle Friendly Business, BicyclingHub.com looks forward to participating in the 2012 Bike Commute Challenge and giving their cohorts a run for their money.

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